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November 7th, 2018


Dear Parents,


It’s Turkey Time at BTE!


The fifth-grade teachers, wish to invite you to participate in our “Family Turkey Affair”. What is a “Family Turkey Affair”? It’s an opportunity for the family to work together on a common project. You may do anything you wish with your turkey template given to you EXCEPT enlarge the pattern or use another pattern.


The turkeys will be evaluated and voted on:


  • Originality of design and theme
  • Use of materials (If using food items, use only dry, uncooked, non-sweet items, please for obvious reasons)
  • Use of color, texture, and shape


Prizes will be awarded to each individual class for both 1st and 2nd places.

In addition, a grand prize will be awarded for the best all-around turkey in the entire BTE’s fifth grade.

Turkey projects will be due on Friday, November 16th, 2018. If your child is going to be absent on that day, please bring the “Family Turkey Affair” project before the due date.

Please, make sure your child writes his/her name on the BACK of the project! This is to ensure an unbiased voting.




The Fifth Grade Teachers














  1. Titles and sub-titles/sub-headings are to be underlined in pencil. These hint nat the main idea of the text or paragraph.
  2. Enumerate each paragraph and text feature such as illustrations with captions, illustrations without captions, diagrams, graphs, map, etc.
  3. Get ready 3 colored pencils or pens, RED, GREEN, and BLUE. (DON'T use crayons, markers, or highlighters)
  4. Vocabulary words that are BOLD or Itallized or are words that are defined on the text are to be CIRCLED in RED.
  5. The definitions of words circled in red are to be UNDERLINED in BLUE.
  6. Finally, any further explanations or examples given in text, pictures, graphs, or diagrams to help understand the vocabulary is to be BOXED in GREEN.












During the visit to the Biscayne Nature Center for Environmental Education (BNCEE), each student participates in several field and/or laboratory investigations depending on the length of visit, tides, weather, and other environmental conditions. Fifth-grade students attend for one or two days. Before taking part in activities at the Nature Center, students are given a review of safety rules and information concerning potentially harmful land and sea organisms. Five major interdependent relationships in nature are stressed throughout the program.


They are:



The woodland investigation involves a meander through the coastal hammock of northern Key Biscayne where the teacher and students relate the five major interdependent relationships in nature to the plants and animals they observe. Evidence of environmental problems and selected harmful organisms in the habitat are identified.


Onshore and offshore activities may include investigations of the seagrass habitat, rock reef, mangrove swamp, intertidal zone, and sand dunes. The seagrass and/or mangrove investigations involve wading when conditions permit. Students are required to wear life jackets during the seagrass investigation. A minimum of NINE ADULTS FROM THE PARTICIPATING SCHOOL (i.e. one adult chaperone for every five students) are needed IN THE WATER for the wading investigations.


The progression laboratory session offers students the opportunity to closely examine organisms found in the marine habitat. Students are actively involved in observing

marine organisms, using microscopes, retrieving computer data, handling live animals, and measuring invertebrate specimens. Observations, drawings, and measurements are recorded in a laboratory booklet for further discussion at the school.


The program activities focus on:


1. Looking for evidence of the 5 major interdependent relationships in nature: Variety, Patterns, Balance, Change, and Adaptation.


2. Looking for evidence of environmental problems, discussing their solutions, and planning to conserve the environment by not littering and by protecting wildlife.


3. Observing safety procedures and identifying harmful land and sea animals and plants.


4. Working like a scientist; that is, observing carefully, recording accurately, making claims, providing evidence to support their claims, interpreting data, and arriving at explanations (reasoning) that support their claims.


5. Recognizing natural habitats and the plants and animals that live in those habitats. Deciding why it is important to leave these habitats in their natural state.






The program at the Biscayne Nature Center for Environmental Education is designed so that students can learn about the environment and have fun at the same


time. For a safe visit, STUDENTS MUST observe the following safety rules as well as any other instructions given by BNCEE Staff:



1. USE THE BUDDY SYSTEM AT ALL TIMES: Stay with your buddy and remain with your group throughout the program. If health or restroom needs make it necessary to leave the group, you must get permission from your teacher and be accompanied by an adult.






3. SHOES ARE TO BE WORN AT ALL TIMES: Shoes must be worn in the water, because there may be bottle tops and broken glass, which may cause injury. Many plants and animals are harmful when stepped on. Open-toed shoes, sandals, or Crocs™ are NOT acceptable.



4. STAY WITHIN THE BOUNDARIES GIVEN YOU: During the wading investigation, stay between the instructor and the shore. Stay in line behind the instructor and in the middle of the open pathways while you are in the woods.



5. REPORT ALL INJURIES OR ILLNESSES: First-aid supplies are available.



6. ONLY TOUCH those plants or animals given to you or which you are told to touch.



7. IN CASE OF STORMS, be quiet, listen and follow instructions. Alternative activities will be planned.
















1. I have the Parent Permission Form for the Water-Related Field Trip form completed and signed (in two places) by one of my parents. The emergency contact name, phone numbers have been filled in. I gave the completed form to my teacher.



2. I have packed a towel and a complete change of clothes including underwear and shoes for both days. I have included a plastic bag for wet clothes.



3. I will bring with me a raincoat, sweater or jacket, sun hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent (no sprays, please) as appropriate.



4. I have packed a lunch in a strong bag with one or two canned drinks (no glass bottles or thermos jugs) Lunches and drinks are clearly identified with my name. I have packed a lunch that does not require refrigeration.



5. I know my buddy’s name and am aware of all the student safety procedures.



6. I will wear shoes that can get wet. I will wear shoes, shorts, and shirts for wading. I will not wear a bathing suit, sandals, Crocs™ or open-toe shoes. For cold weather wading, I will be prepared to wear shoes, long pants, and a long-sleeved shirt over a t-shirt in the water. Old sneakers, water shoes and booties are acceptable.








 10 Ways to Teach Mindfulness to Kids

by Sarah Rudell Beach


1. Keep it simple. With older kids, you can share the widely-used definition from Jon Kabat-Zinn in the image above. But those are a lot of big words for little kids. I prefer to use the words awareness or noticing with my children {ages 5 and 7, for reference}. Mindfulness is noticing our thoughts, what our body feels like, what our ears are hearing, and anything else that is around us and happening right now.


2. Listen to the bell. An easy way for children to practice mindfulness is to focus on paying attention to what they can hear. I’ve used a singing bowl, like the one on the right, for this exercise, but you could use a bell, a set of chimes, or a phone app that has sounds on it. Tell your children that you will make the sound, and they should listen carefully until they can no longer hear the sound (which is usually 30 seconds to a minute). I find that this exercise does have a calming effect on my children, and it’s a fun way to teach them to pay attention to their surroundings.


3. Create a mindful bedtime ritual. Bedtime is a great time to introduce mindfulness to kids. My daughter loves to do a short body-scan meditation before bed, she closes her eyes, and I tell her to bring her attention to her toes, to her feet, to her legs, etc. It is a calming way to return to the body at the end of the day. You can find several downloadable meditation scripts (including body scans) here, and you can read about the bedtime ritual my daughter and I created here.


4. Practice with a breathing buddy. For young children, an instruction to simply “pay attention to the breath” can be hard to follow. In this Edutopia video, Daniel Goleman describes a 2nd-grade classroom that does a “breathing buddy” exercise: each student grabs a stuffed animal, and then lies down on their back with their buddy on their belly. They focus their attention on the rise and fall of the stuffed animal as they breathe in and out. {You should check out the video, it’s less than 2 minutes and explains the exercise and all the good stuff that it teaches kids!}


5. Make your walks mindful. One of my children’s favorite things to do in the summer is a “noticing walk.” We stroll through our neighborhood and notice things we haven’t seen before. We’ll designate one minute of the walk where we are completely silent and simply pay attention to all the sounds we can hear — frogs, woodpeckers, a lawnmower. We don’t even call it “mindfulness,” but that’s what it is.


6. Establish a gratitude practice. I believe gratitude is a fundamental component of mindfulness, teaching our children to appreciate the abundance in their lives, as opposed to focusing on all the toys and goodies that they crave. This post describes my family’s nightly gratitude practice — each night at dinner we each share one thing we are thankful for. It is one of my favorite parts of the day.


7. Try the Spider-Man meditation! My five-year-old son is in to all things superheroes, and this Spider-Man meditation is right up his alley. This meditation from Kids Relaxation teaches children to activate their “spidey-senses” and their ability to focus on all they can smell, taste, and hear in the present moment. Such a clever idea!


8. Meditate with your children. I cannot even tell you how many times my meditation sessions have been interrupted by my children. They know by now what mommy is doing when she meditates, so I will try to continue with my meditation even as they play around me. Sometimes, my daughter will sit down and join me for a few minutes. It’s beautiful.


9. Check your personal weather report. In Sitting Still Like a Frog, Eline Snel encourages children to “summon the weather report that best describes [their] feelings at the moment.” Sunny, rainy, stormy, calm, windy, tsunami? This activity allows children to observe their present state without overly identifying with their emotions. They can’t change the weather outside, and we can’t change our emotions or feelings either. All we can change is how we relate to them. As Snel describes it, children can recognize, “I am not the downpour, but I notice that it is raining; I am not a scaredy-cat, but I realize that sometimes I have this big scared feeling somewhere near my throat.”


10. Practice mindful eating. The exercise of mindfully eating a raisin or a piece of chocolate is a staple of mindfulness education, and is a great activity for kids. You can find a script for a 7-minute mindful eating exercise for children here. This is a fun way to teach children to pay attention to and savor their food, and by extension, the present moment.


Above all, remember to have fun and keep it simple. You can provide your children with many opportunities to add helpful practices to their tool kit, some of them will work for them and some won’t. But it’s fun to experiment!

Teach mindfulness to your kids, it can help them develop emotional regulation and cognitive focus.